For sun, fun and tranquility WITH KIDS? Go here

18 Sep


Now I have to kick things off by saying that in my previous, childless life, the thought of going to a ‘baby-friendly bolthole’ would have made me cringe at the least and vomit at the most.  In fact, in the early days of Nancy I probably still would have felt like this.  However, after a weekend with Nancy at the sort of Mr and Mrs Smith hotel we’d have gone to before as a couple, my view changed completely.

The hotel was gorgeous.  Lovely big bed, goose down duvet, free-standing bath etc etc.  BUT what I hadn’t considered is that it would be a tight squeeze to fit in the baby gym, the travel cot and all of our other gear.  That it would be tricky to find a place for the steriliser to live.  That at 2.30am we would all wake up for Nancy’s feed because the light would need to go on.  And the biggest oversight – that come 7pm we’d have to sit in complete darkness once Nancy had gone to bed for the night.  We had no choice but to watch Mad Men on the laptop ‘til it was time for dinner (damn).  We even had a cup of tea in the bathroom!  Needless to say, the weekend wasn’t exactly the rejuvenating one we desperately needed and hoped for.  Suddenly a baby-friendly bolthole was the *only* way I’d go away again.

So yes, for our first official family holiday we found ourselves a ‘baby-friendly bolthole’ near Valencia in Spain.  Caserio Del Mirador looked incredible on the website.  Pretty much all the baby gear already there (huzzah!), only five apartments in total, a massage lady (heaven), the choice to cook for yourself or join in with kids’ tea and adult evening meals.  There was also a lovely pool, cute bunnies, pigs, goats and so on.  Sounded like perfection.

And it was.  It’s stress-minimising’ness kicked in before we’d even left the house, as we didn’t have to take anything like as much stuff as we’d have done with any other holiday.  ** We didn’t even come close to our maximum baggage allowance!! ** 

Sarah and Johnny Robinson who own and run the place with help from their kids couldn’t be more friendly and accommodating.  In fact, when my luggage was left behind in London, Sarah quickly became my personal stylist – delivering me a new batch of lovely clothes each day. You can’t get more accommodating than that! In terms of everything else, they manage to balance the needs of the kids and their parents perfectly.  


Nancy loved scurrying around our spacious apartment, eating and playing with the other kids, feeding the pig, manhandling the bunnies, swinging in the playground, swooshing about in the pool and eating dead wasps (hmm).  And let’s face it, happy baby = relaxed parents. The fact that we didn’t always have to think about her next meal, be constantly washing up and doing all the things we’d normally do at home, meant that we could actually relax.  When she napped we’d lay by the pool, read our books, enjoy a beer or espresso in peace.  Then when she woke up we’d play, swim and explore.  Once she was down for the night, we could take our monitor up to Sarah’s outdoor kitchen (where there was actually a shelf and plug sockets for baby monitors!) and enjoy a delicious meal and A LOT of booze with the other parents. And Sarah’s cooking was a-maz-ing.  She had us in stitches over hilarious stories of their time in Spain and her life back in London as she casually knocked up nothing short of an incredible meal.  As a vegetarian I often struggle in Spain, but I ate SO well here.


I could go on and on about how wonderful this place is.  It really is.  In fact, after a stressful day at the beach due to Nancy wanting to practise her crawling, (crawling + sand + sun cream is not an ideal combination) followed by a vomiting attack on the way home, we joked that we should never leave the Caserio again all week. And then we didn’t.  While this meant we didn’t exactly get the most Spanish experience, we really did relax and had a wonderful time together as a family – all we really wanted.  We met some lovely people in the other parents and especially in Sarah and Johnny and their wonderful family. Next year we WILL be back and we may even explore beyond the Caserio!!

Rating:
Curious Mama: ***** muchos opportunities for chilling, eating + exploring.
Curious Bubba: ***** just endless fun!

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